Vermont is not as pristine as advertised, and when I heard about the protests and lengthy, seemingly endless lists of contaminated water in their home, business or schools. My high school, in North Clarendon, was included in the listings, as well as ski areas, stores that we've shopped at forever, nearby farms and farm families, plus nearby Mill River Union High School.
We happen to live within 4-7 miles of two of the sites that are spitting and spilling contaminatesfrom deeply buried gas storage. One is the town we border, North Clarendon, where my sister and her family live and the smallish high school I attended there are drowning in serious contaminated ground H2O water trouble.
Now we have a pretty good reputation for running a pristine state (excepting the protest-driven closing of the hideously dangerous closing of the nearby Yankee Nuclear Plant.
Time for another peck of protests to make some noise. This is a spot on display of Industrial Greed (guess these circumstances define it), and what piss poor regulation can achieve over time.
The Cleanup Fund began in 1941, and was quickly neglected with all the men and a few dedicated women shipping across the Pond after World War II got serious. Great decade for the Military Industrial Complex Generals.
Scanning the 42(!) page PDF from the state's Petroleum Clean-up Fund, I was aghast at the number of resolved situations.
And the hundreds of homes, business buildings, schools, restaurants, hospitals, shops and hair salons and gas stations. The link is above, it's a peeper popper.
For each site, a number of actual Vermonters exposed to contamination can vary. The actual users for public water supplies can be as low as 25 people per system to as high as many thousands of users. For sites with affected private water supplies, the number of contaminated wells depends on the specific conditions of the site. On average there are approximately three contaminated wells discovered per site, with an average of 3 users per household. However, one of the 161 sites listed above involved contamination to over 80 wells affecting approximately 240 users, and a site discovered in 2002 involves contamination to over 30 wells, including a public water supply, affecting hundreds of users.
Vermont has been trying to walk in the (pale) green footsteps of New Hampshire and New York to ban the additive M-T-B-E from the state's gasoline - for nine years - nine trips around the sun, and even MTBE is an additive to keep gas from leaking. Ironic much?
Surface water impact scan affect both public health and the environment. High concentrations of petroleum in a stream can cause detrimental affects to biota, and lead to an increased exposure to stream users.
Lastly, sites with indoor air impacts can lead to the greatest risk to public health. Petroleum
vapors entering a home can be at levels that are explosive. More often petroleum vapors reach
levels that pose a serious health risk. Of the 141 sites with indoor air impacts, the number of
exposed individuals varied from site to site. An average site involves three homes affected with
approximately three persons per home.